SEATTLE – A North Seattle man is charged with sexually abusing three children he was supposed to be caring for as part of a neighborhood babysitting arrangement.
Court paperwork recently filed in the case reveals a disturbing pattern of abuse.
Due to concerns from the parents of the children involved in the case, KING 5 News will not be identifying them and also will not be identifying the suspect, except for his first name, which is Peter.
Court papers say "(The alleged victim) told her mom that Pete asked her if she wanted to have a secret. He told her that she could never tell, or else (the alleged victim) could no longer be friends with Pete's daughter.
Peter stood next to his attorney in court Tuesday, charged with numerous crimes ranging from the rape of a child to molestation.
"There are multiple victims here. The offenses occurred over a long period of time, two to three years. Victims are very young. Ages 6 for two of them and 4 for one," said prosecutor Carol Spoor in court.
The suspect and his wife were among three neighborhood families that took turns babysitting each other's children. Detectives believe the abuse happened in Peter's home, sometimes in the form of playing children's games.
"(Peter) engaged in a very systematic grooming process with these children. These victims did not realize, because of their young age that his touches were inappropriate because they were embedded in his play with them," said Spoor.
Peter remains free on bail and would not talk to reporters as he left the courthouse.
Prosecutors believe Peter's wife and children were often home during these incidents, but they believe the family was unaware of what was happening.